The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
Annotated Bibliography

What goes into the content of the annotations?

Below are some of the most common forms of annotated bibliographies. Click on a link to see examples of each.


This form of annotation defines the scope of the source, lists the significant topics included, and tells what the source is about.

This type is different from the informative entry in that the informative entry gives actual information about its source.

In the indicative entry there is no attempt to give actual data such as hypotheses, proofs, etc. Generally, only topics or chapter titles are included.



Simply put, this form of annotation is a summary of the source.

To write it, begin by writing the thesis; then develop it with the argument or hypothesis, list the proofs, and state the conclusion.



In this form of annotation you need to assess the source's strengths and weaknesses.

You get to say why the source is interesting or helpful to you, or why it is not. In doing this you should list what kind of and how much information is given; in short, evaluate the source's usefulness.



Most annotated bibliographies are of this type.

They contain one or two sentences summarizing or describing content and one or two sentences providing an evaluation.